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The Greatest Cognitive Dissonance Trap of All Time - Dilbert Blog

The Greatest Cognitive Dissonance Trap of All Time

Here’s the set-up:

1. The mainstream media knows they are smarter than Donald Trump. They see evidence of this truth all the time, although much of that evidence is confirmation bias. 

Then…

2. Trump does something smart – accusing Obama and Clinton of being “founders” of ISIS. This is a clever way to get the world to debate Clinton and Obama’s ineffectiveness during a time when ISIS expanded. In other words, it is brilliant media manipulation, and it worked.

3. CNN and other Clinton supporters interpret Trump’s statement about ISIS as absurd and uninformed because they can’t imagine a scenario in which Trump does something brilliant. Trump being brilliant isn’t one of the options, as far as they know.

The reality of Trump’s clever persuasion is crystal-clear to anyone who thinks Trump is smart. Trump was clearly joking about the “founder” part to get people squawking, and it worked. Total success. Brilliant technique.

Now the media has a big problem. They can’t admit that they were extraordinarily dumb in this situation and Trump was brilliant. That reality is invisible to them because it doesn’t fit their worldview.

So…cognitive dissonance happens. 

This is a textbook set-up for cognitive dissonance. The facts we observe (Trump is smart, the media is gullible) is opposite of the media’s worldview in which they are smart and Trump is uninformed. So what do they do?

They act as if Trump is the dumb one in this situation. Because that fits their worldview.

And…they…fact-check his claim.

Meanwhile, the unhypnotized laugh themselves into a stupor watching this spectacle of cognitive dissonance. Humor aside, it is a marvelous and incredible thing to behold.

One of my smartest friends just emailed me to say he thinks Trump really believes that Obama and Clinton “founded” ISIS. My friend has a very high IQ and he’s well-informed. But cognitive dissonance isn’t influenced by intelligence. He believes whatever fits his worldview. Just like the rest of us.

The fun part is that we can see cognitive dissonance when it happens to others – such as with my friend, and CNN – but we can’t see it when it happens to us. So don’t get too smug about this. You’re probably next. 

I think this story will end up in psychology textbooks. You rarely see such a clean example of cognitive dissonance in public.

Oh, and Trump hates babies, and he also wants a 2nd amendment supporter to assassinate his opponent. As long as the media is being dumbasses, they might as well fact-check that stuff too.

I have never been so entertained.

If you think Obama and Clinton were not founders of ISIS, you might like my book.